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Women, People Of Color Largely Absent From Opinion Pages

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NEW YORK MAN READING NEWSPAPER
Helen Thomas reads thru her stack of morning newspapers at her desk inside the White House briefing room March 27, 2009 as she waits for the daily briefing by US President Barack Obama's Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. Thomas is an American news service reporter, a Hearst Newspapers columnist, and member of the White House Press Corps. She served for fifty-seven years as a United Press International (UPI) correspondent and, later, White House bureau chief for UPI. Thomas has covered every presiden | CHRIS MADDALONI via Getty Images

Time after time, research continues to prove that the media is still a white and male-dominated industry.

A new study looking at ten US newspapers showed that women and ethnic minorities are also drastically underrepresented in op-ed pages. The study found that of 22 columnists from newspapers, including top papers like the New York Times, only six writers were female and only one writer was a person of color. However, an analysis of the op-ed pages' content revealed that women are increasingly writing about a wider range of topics aside from things "traditionally linked to females," but their voices remain largely unheard.

“The lack of diversity, whether racial or gender, shows the inability of media to reflect different life experiences and perspectives, and thus presents an inaccurate picture of the world,” one of the study's authors Dustin Harp said.

Check out the full study here.

And that's not all. The average editorial board at each newspaper was composed of 11 people-- 8 of which were white and only 4 of which were women.

This is just one more area where women are underrepresented in the media. A study by the Women's Media Center found that there is nearly a 2-1 difference in content contributed to news outlets by men than by women. Sixty-three percent of bylines are attributed to men across print, Internet and wire news. A Media Matters study from April 2013 to March 2014 found that only 28 percent of guests on weekday evening programs during segments on the economy were women.

In terms of minorities, research shows that the percentage of employees of color in the newspaper industry has remained pretty much unchanged for nearly 15 years. According to a study by the American Society of News Editors, minorities make up just 12 percent of all newspaper staffers.

(h/t: Poynter)

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